Encyclopedia Astronautica
Luna E-6LF



luna10.jpg
Luna 10 / E-6S
E-6S lunar orbiter spacecraft. The E-6LF and E-6LS spacecraft may have been similar.
Credit: NASA
Russian lunar orbiter. 2 launches, 1966.08.24 (Luna 11) to 1966.10.22 (Luna 12). Photographed lunar surface and orbital space environment in preparation for manned missions.

The objectives of the spacecraft included the study of: (1) lunar gamma- and X-ray emissions in order to determine the Moon's chemical composition; (2) lunar gravitational anomalies; (3) the concentration of meteorite streams near the Moon; (4) the intensity of hard corpuscular radiation near the Moon. The spacecraft could also be equipped with a television system that obtained and transmitted photographs of the lunar surface. The photographs contained 1100 scan lines with a maximum resolution of 14.9--19.8 m.

Gross mass: 1,629 kg (3,591 lb).
First Launch: 1966.08.24.
Last Launch: 1966.10.22.
Number: 2 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • KTDU-5A Isayev Nitric acid/Amine rocket engine. 45.5 kN. Used on Luna E-6 probes. Out of Production. Isp=287s. First turbopump engine with surface tension propellant management devices in tanks, allowing re-ignition in zero-G. More...

See also
  • Soyuz The Russian Soyuz spacecraft has been the longest-lived, most adaptable, and most successful manned spacecraft design. In production for fifty years, more than 240 have been built and flown on a wide range of missions. The design will remain in use with the international space station well into the 21st century, providing the only manned access to the station after the retirement of the shuttle in 2011. More...

Associated Launch Vehicles
  • Soyuz Russian orbital launch vehicle. The world's first ICBM became the most often used and most reliable launch vehicle in history. The original core+four strap-on booster missile had a small third stage added to produce the Vostok launch vehicle, with a payload of 5 metric tons. Addition of a larger third stage produced the Voskhod/Soyuz vehicle, with a payload over 6 metric tons. Using this with a fourth stage, the resulting Molniya booster placed communications satellites and early lunar and planetary probes in higher energy trajectories. By the year 2000 over 1,628 had been launched with an unmatched success rate of 97.5% for production models. Improved models providing commercial launch services for international customers entered service in the new millenium, and a new launch pad at Kourou was to be inaugurated in 2009. It appeared that the R-7 could easily still be in service 70 years after its first launch. More...
  • Molniya 8K78M Russian orbital launch vehicle. Improved Molniya, in variants with Blocks ML, 2BL, or SO-L third stages according to payload. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Korolev Russian manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Korolev Design Bureau, Kaliningrad, Russia. More...
  • MOM Russian agency overseeing development of spacecraft. Ministry of General Machine Building (Moskva, Russia), Moscow, Russia. More...

Associated Programs
  • Luna Soviet lunar probe series. Lunas were the first manmade objects to attain of escape velocity; to impact on the moon; to photograph the far side of the moon; to soft land on the moon; to retrieve and return lunar surface samples to the earth; and to deploy a lunar rover on the moon's surface. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • JPL Mission and Spacecraft Library, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 1997. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Varfolomyev, Timothy, "Soviet Rocketry that Conquered Space - Part 5", Spaceflight, 1998, Volume 40, page 85.
  • National Space Science Center Planetary Page, As of 19 February 1999.. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Luna-12 Transmits /TASS Communique, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • NASA Report, Luna-12 transmits photographs , Web Address when accessed: here.

Associated Launch Sites
  • Baikonur Russia's largest cosmodrome, the only one used for manned launches and with facilities for the larger Proton, N1, and Energia launch vehicles. The spaceport ended up on foreign soil after the break-up of Soviet Union. The official designations NIIP-5 and GIK-5 are used in official Soviet histories. It was also universally referred to as Tyuratam by both Soviet military staff and engineers, and the US intelligence agencies. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union the Russian Federation has insisted on continued use of the old Soviet 'public' name of Baikonur. In its Kazakh (Kazak) version this is rendered Baykonur. More...

Luna E-6LF Chronology


1966 August 24 - . 08:03 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC31. Launch Pad: LC31?. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. LV Configuration: Molniya 8K78M N103-43.
  • Luna 11 - . Payload: E-6LF s/n 101. Mass: 1,638 kg (3,611 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Luna. Class: Moon. Type: Lunar probe. Spacecraft: Luna E-6LF. USAF Sat Cat: 2406 . COSPAR: 1966-078A. Automatic station Luna 11. Further development of artificial lunar satellite systems and conduct of scientific experiments in circumlunar space. Lunar orbit 160 km x 1200 km x 27 degrees. Luna 11 was launched towards the Moon from an earth-orbiting platform and entered lunar orbit on August 28, 1966. The objectives of the mission included the study of: (1) lunar gamma- and X-ray emissions in order to determine the Moon's chemical composition; (2) lunar gravitational anomalies; (3) the concentration of meteorite streams near the Moon; and, (4) the intensity of hard corpuscular radiation near the Moon. A total of 137 radio transmissions and 277 orbits of the Moon were completed before the batteries failed on October 1, 1966.

1966 October 22 - . 08:42 GMT - . Launch Site: Baikonur. Launch Complex: Baikonur LC31. LV Family: R-7. Launch Vehicle: Molniya 8K78M. LV Configuration: Molniya 8K78M N103-44.
  • Luna 12 - . Payload: E-6LF s/n 102. Mass: 1,620 kg (3,570 lb). Nation: USSR. Agency: MOM. Program: Luna. Class: Moon. Type: Lunar probe. Spacecraft: Luna E-6LF. USAF Sat Cat: 2508 . COSPAR: 1966-094A. Lunar Orbiter, further development of artificial lunar satellite systems and conduct of scientific experiments in circumlunar space. Luna 12 was launched towards the Moon from an earth-orbiting platform and achieved a lunar orbit of of 100 km x 1740 km on October 25, 1966. The spacecraft was equipped with a television system that obtained and transmitted photographs of the lunar surface. The photographs contained 1100 scan lines with a maximum resolution of 14.9--19.8 m. Pictures of the lunar surface were returned on October 27, 1966. The number of photographs is not known. Radio transmissions from Luna 12 ceased on January 19, 1967, after 602 lunar orbits and 302 radio transmissions.

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